“Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” vs. 46
Nathanael knew Nazareth. It was a sleepy little town in the hills and had no history to speak of…it wasn’t even mentioned in any of the Hebrew scriptures. From his perspective it seemed unlikely that it would produce the long-awaited messiah and his answer to Philip reveals his scepticism. But Philip doesn’t argue…this wasn’t the sort of issue that could be resolved with debate. Nathaniel had to see with his own eyes so he offers a simple invitation, “Come and see.” Philip’s strategy worked and it’s still the best way to deal with skeptics, particularly when it comes to matters of faith. We’ll never convince anyone to become a follower of Jesus by debating or arguing with them, and in these strange times we have an additional problem with image. Many unbelievers are not impressed by what they see in contemporary evangelical Christianity…they see Christian leaders saying bizarre stuff and adopting unChristlike positions. And like Nathaniel they wonder…why should I bother to get mixed up with these crazies? We who have met the real Jesus will need patience in our inviting…the first “come and see” may not be enough. But fruitful living always has power. When people see that we know true peace and joy and that our lives are grounded in love, one day they will respond to our invitation…and they will meet Jesus too.
Thought for the Day: Who can I invite to come and see Jesus?